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Founder of The Awakening Hour
Dr. William R. Crews was a native of Starke, Florida. In his early life he was a professional pool hustler who later became an alcoholic. After being saved out of a life of deep sin, the Lord called him to preach the Gospel and to teach the Word of God. He pastored churches in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, South Dakota, and South Carolina and taught on both the Bible College and Seminary level. He also served as Seminary President and interim Seminary President.
His education included a Bachelor of arts program at Lexington Baptist College, a Master of Arts program at Ouachita Baptist University, a Bachelor of Divinity program at the Bible Baptist Seminary, a Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology program at Immanuel Seminary, a Master of Arts program at North American Baptist Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
For thirty-two years he was the speaker on a national radio program “Bible Study Time”. He published more than 60 Bible study booklets on religious subjects – materials that he presented on his national media outlets. He was listed in “Outstanding Young Men of America” (1970 edition), “Outstanding Personalities of the South” (1973 edition), and “Who’s Who in Religion” (1985 edition). He had an extensive religious library of approximately 18,000 volumes, many of which are books by old Puritan writers. He had collected all the books available by Charles Haddon Spurgeon who perhaps had the greatest impact and influence on Dr. Crews’ life and ministry. He was a pilot holding the private pilot’s rating, the twin engine rating, and the instrument rating.
Rev. Dr. William R. Crews
Rev. Dr. William R. Crews, 75, died Sunday, November 29, 2009 at Spartanburg Regional Hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina following a severe brain injury as a result of a fall.
He leaves his wife of 55 years, Dr. Freda V. Green-Crews; his daughter, Terrie L. Moyer, his son, William Crews, Jr., and daughter, Rachel Greene, his grandchildren, Robert Jared Wilkins, Jacob Lee Wilkins, Jessie Lang Moyer, Michelle LeeAnne Crews, Megan Elisabeth Crews, Lawrence Neal Buckley, Jr., Stafford Lawson Buckley and great grandchildren, Noah Jacob Wilkins and Karsen Oliver Wilkins, a sister, Jonnie F. Moody, niece Sherry E. Taylor and nephew, Paul Lang Edwards.
Dr. Crews was born and raised in Lake Butler, Florida. His parents were the late Stafford Lang Crews and Merlie Mae Williams-Crews, and he has resided in the Spartanburg area beginning in Gaffney, SC since 1983.
He attended high school in Starke, Florida, where he was a star Defensive Tackle for the Bradford High School Tornadoes football team. After high school, he served his country in the United States Navy. Dr. Crews became a Christian in February of 1956 and immediately answered God's call to preach and entered Seminary in September, 1956. Rev. Crews was ordained to the ministry in 1957 by Grace Baptist Church in Newark, Texas while earning a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bible Baptist Seminary in Arlington, TX. He went on to earn a Master of Arts from North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD, and a Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.
Dr. Crews was a great expository preacher and teacher of the Scriptures and has served as Pastor of churches in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, South Dakota, and South Carolina including East Gaffney Baptist Church in Gaffney, SC from 1983 to 1988, Calvary Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC and was the current pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC.
Dr. Crews has had radio and television ministries for over 30 years and is currently seen on Television with his ministry program, The Awakening Hour, which airs on 150 U.S. Stations and in another 170 countries. In addition, he has written over 60 Bible Study booklets on religious subjects. He has taught on both the Bible College and Seminary level and has served as a Seminary President. He was an accomplished pilot holding private, multi-engine and instrument ratings which served him well as he flew to various speaking engagements across the country.
Besides his ministry activities, he and his wife, Dr. Freda Crews owned and operated five Christian Radio Stations from 1972 through 1985. Dr. Crews also founded a business whose mission was to assist other Christian Ministries in their endeavors to spread the Gospel through radio and television, and in 1974, he and his wife gave this thriving business to the ministry of Bible Study Time, Inc., now located in Spartanburg, SC.
He was listed in Outstanding Young Men of America in 1970, Outstanding Personalities of the South in 1973 and Who's Who in Religion in 1985.
Dr. Crews was laid to rest, Tuesday, December 1, 2009 in Good Shepherd Memorial Park.